Assam Hadhad, a Syrian refugee who arrived in Canada last year, displays a tray of chocolates at his shop, Peace by Chocolate, in Antigonish, N.S. on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. CEO Tareq Hadhad has plans to hiring more refugees over the next three years. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Syrians gradually integrating into Canadian society, latest report finds

Pledge to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees became a hallmark promise from the Liberals in 2015

Syrians refugees admitted to Canada under the government’s landmark resettlement program are slowly catching up to other refugee groups when it comes to finding jobs and connecting with their communities.

The final Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees Canada study of outcomes for the nearly 40,000 Syrians who arrived between 2015 and 2016 suggests that just over half are now working, with a further 23 per cent actively on the hunt for a job.

But the study shows their salaries continue to lag behind other refugee groups, and while the report found most Syrians feel they’re handling the day-to-day requirements of life in Canada well, many are still turning to food banks for support.

A pledge to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees became a hallmark promise from the Liberals during the 2015 election, which came at the height of the Syrian civil war that saw millions of people displaced around the world and the United Nations actively calling on countries like Canada to take in more people who desperately needed new homes.

The multimillion-dollar effort that ensued, while embraced by Canadians, also came with fears that such a large group of refugees — many suffering from the trauma of the war — would arrive without the supports in place for them to integrate into Canadian life.

The report, published in June, says 89 per cent of Syrian adults have accessed government-funded language assessments and 77 per cent of them have accessed language training. Although most reported being able to complete day-to-day tasks in English without help, language challenges have fostered feelings of isolation among some, the report said.

ALSO READ: Most Syrian refugees settling well in B.C., report says

ALSO READ: B.C. religious leaders call on Canada to act against U.S. immigration ban

Some 57 per cent of 1,255 Syrian respondents to a 2018 survey reported being employed, while another 23 per cent were looking for work, it found.

Most — 86 per cent — reported having a doctor or health care provider, though a lack of language skills, understanding of services, the stigma around mental health and privacy concerns were preventing some from accessing health care.

The majority of parents also reported that their school-age children were indeed enrolled in school, although language barriers continue to make it hard for Syrian parents to be active in their children’s education.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Extravagant marriage proposal in Ucluelet

“It was such a dream. He brought a dream to life. No one does this anymore.”

Missing mushroom picker found “alive and well” after three-day search in Ucluelet

“It’s always great to have a positive outcome like this.”

Ucluelet mayor criticizes province’s lack of communication as highway closures resume

Daily closures return to only highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

HISTORY COLUMN: Reflecting on the 32nd anniversary of Canada’s apology to Japanese-Canadians

Japanese-Canadians an integral part of Tofino and Ucluelet’s history.

Tofino-Ucluelet region rallies around injured five-month-old puppy

A Hitacu puppy is home and healing after being struck by a vehicle in Hitacu

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Most Read